Smartphone manufacturers have been criticized for the addictive nature of their devices. Both Android and now Apple have released software that will help people curb their addition and monitor usage.

In this report we explore:

  • Key smartphone addiction statistics
  • Time spent per day using smartphones
  • Children and phone addiction
  • How smartphone usage impacts your health
  • How to break up with your phone addiction
  • Addiction solutions by operating system
Cell phone addiction



Smartphones have become a prominent part of everyday work and personal life. However this huge culture shift in personal technology delivers an endless river of information that negatively impacts us psychologically – being linked to fueling anxiety, stress, concentration, sleep and much more.

In this section we explore:

  • Smartphone infatuation statistics
  • Defining smartphone addiction
  • Insight into how it negatively impacts our lives
  • Warning signs of smartphone addiction
Smartphone and phone smartphone addiction

Is Cell Phone Addiction Real? Here Are The Facts

  • The average smartphone user checks their device 47 times a day / 17,155 a year.
  • Conversation killer! 85% of smartphone users will check their device while speaking with friends and family.
  • 80% of smartphone users check their phone within 1 hour of waking or going to sleep, 35% of which will do within 5 minutes.
  • 47% of smartphone users have attempted to limit their usage in the past – only 30% of which feel they were successful.

Smartphone Addiction Definition

The official name for smartphone addiction is Nomophobia which is defined as having a fear of not being with your phone. Cell phones have been around for years though, so why the sudden increase in dependence? Well quite simply, its defined by the nature of the content on the device… we’re talking internet, social networks, apps, video, music and so on.

Popular impulse driven triggers:

  • Social media networks and relationship driven content.
  • Over exposure to information and data e.g. games, surfing, apps.
  • Internet pornography, cybersex and dating apps.
  • Shopping, gambling, stock trading and auctions.

How Phone Dependence Can Negatively Impact Our Life

All the research and studies we examined found that a phone usage dependence can impact both physical and mental health attributes of your daily life.

  • Anxiety – Simply having your phone near you will decrease your productivity, the impact is snowballs with the level of the users addiction.
  • Stress – Higher stress levels were found in business orientated roles where work life is connected to the personas device e.g. emails
  • Narcissism – People on their phones who get addicted to social media will begin to display self-absorption traits derived from posting constantly about their life or selfies.
  • Depression and loneliness – mainly stemming from people on their phones with high social media use (higher numbers in teens).
  • Attention deficit disorder – The flow of information can impact the brains ability to stay focused on one task for more than a couple of minutes
  • Sleep deprivation – Impacting your sleep can have long term mental health, memory and learning skills.

By the time you finish reading this you might want to sell your iPhone or trade in your cell phone and get an old brick phone, but later on in chapter 5 we’ll cover how to break up with your phone using methods to reduce use.

Warning Signs & Smartphone Addiction Symptoms

Do you get any of the following feelings or feel any of these statements relate to you? These are all the most common observations of people with various levels of smartphone addiction.

  • Do you have difficulty completing chores or work due to concentration issues?
  • Seclusion from family and friends or using your phone when in conversation
  • Do you mask your smartphone use, e.g. sneak off to the bathroom at work?
  • Do you worry that you’re missing out of something when you’re not with your phone?
  • Do you feel anxious or irritable if you’re not with your phone?
  • Do you have sleep problems?



There are many complaints on the proportion of the day people spend on their phones, but how much time are people actually spending in 2018? We have become more technology integrated, but where is the line drawn between necessity and obsession.

In this section we explore:

  • Smartphone usage statistics
  • Social media app usage statistics
  • Physical interactions with a mobile device
Average time spent on phone

How Much Time do we Spend on Our Phones

  • The average time spend on smartphones is 171 minutes a day (2hrs 51mins)
  • The average time spend on smartphones AND tablets is 261 minutes a day (4hrs 33mins)
  • The average user spends 76 minutes a day (1hr 16mins) on the top 5 social media apps
  • The average user will tap, swipe, click their phone 2,617 times a day
  • Out of 18-29 year old smartphone owners surveyed, 22% check their phone every few minutes, 51% check a few times an hour

Cell Phone Usage Statistics

We can all agree that, in general, people are spending too much time on their phones, but how much time are we actually spending consuming content on our mobile devices? There has been multiple surveys carried out around the world which shows that every country has a different level of daily use, below are the countries in order by the average time from all sources.

Top 10 Countries with Smartphone Usage

  1. Brazil
  2. China
  3. United States
  4. Italy
  5. Spain
  6. South Korea
  7. Canada
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Germany
  10. France

Key cell phone usage statistic: The average time for people on their phones in the US is 4 hours a day (including tablets). As these devices become more integrated into our personal and digital lives, this increase in time is a depiction of both a culture and technology shift.

Key cell phone usage statistic: The average user in Brazil spends over 5 hours a day on their device, if you really think about it this is crazy… Every 1/5 days is spend on their phone.



The lack of maturity in the child or teen weighs negatively on their ability to curb smartphone and app use – Resulting in a growing concern from parents about their child’s cell phone dependence and the physical and psychological impact it has on them.

In this section we explore:

  • The impact of smartphone overuse on kids
  • Teenage cell phone addiction
  • Parental feedback on their child’s phone use
  • Ways to reduce a child’s dependence on smartphones
Children and smartphone addiction

Is Your Child Spending Too Much Time on Their Phone?

  • 67% of surveyed teachers observed students being negatively distracted by mobile devices.
  • 90% of surveyed teachers stated the number of students with emotional challenges increased.
  • Teenagers who spend 5 hours a day on electronic devices are 71% more likely to have suicide risk factors than those with 1 hours use.
  • Teens that spend 5 hours a day on electronic devices are 51% more likely to get under 7 hours sleep when compared to 1 hours use. (Long term issues linking to high blood pressure and weight gain)
  • 8th graders who are heavy users of social media have a 27% higher risk of depression
  • 89% of parents blame themselves and caregivers for the responsibility of a child’s phone use
  • 5% blame children themselves, 3% blame the device and app manufacturers
  • 47% of parents think their child is addicted to their smartphone
  • 50% of parents are concerned for the impact on their mental health

Ways to Reduce a Child’s Dependence on Smartphones

When looking to resolve teen phone addiction, the obvious option of taking your child’s phone away often don’t work. As mentioned in the chapters above, this can just result in the withdrawal symptoms of the internet and technology addiction. You child or teenager will lack the maturity to realize the bigger picture, so you’re going to have to try some other tactics to evoke healthier usage.

How to stop kids being addicted to their phone:

Use apps to monitor use: The new iOS Digital Health and Androids usage tracking can help you to know how much your child is actually using the device as well as the nature of the use, e.g. apps, emails, messaging.

Manage your own use: You need to be the role model in this situation, if you spend hours looking at your phone, check it during conversations and let it come between you and family interactions then you’re setting a poor example.

Create rules around the house: By restricting the use of smartphones to certain areas of the house or certain times you can create a much healthier environment. For example, no phones at the dinner table or after a certain time at night, perhaps even ban them from having phones in their rooms at night.

Nurture other interests: Another way to reduce how kids are addicted to phones is to involve them in more social and physical activities (sports/hobbies) to help them develop real interactions and reduce stress through exercise.

Communicate: Spend time as a family without mobile devices, communicate and be close enough with your child to know if there are underlying problems that the overuse of smartphones is masking issues such as depression or stress relating to issues at home or school.



There is a vast amount of small actions that you can take to reduce cell phone usage and curb your addiction. Most of which require being self-aware and actively changing habits that encourage phone use, our consumer feedback survey covers some simple steps to take.

In this section we explore:

  • Consumer phone addiction remedy feedback
  • Smartphone addiction self-help tips
  • How to modify your smartphone use
  • How to break phone addiction
How to stop phone addiction

5 Proven Tactics On How to use Your Phone Less

Across the people surveyed on how to stop being addicted to your phone, these are the most common efforts to reduce smartphone use and dependence among adults.

Keeping the phone out of sight when in social situations 38%
Turning off audio notifications 30%
Keeping the phone out of sight when alone 27%
Deleted Apps 26%
Turning off the device at night 26%

Smartphone Addiction Self-Help Tips

We recommend using the new iOS Digital Health and Androids usage reports to keep track of the time you’re spending on your phone. The best place to start is by understanding exactly how much time you’re using your device and what apps you’re using the most.

  1. Realize what the triggers are that make you addicted to your phone, find better uses for your time to reduce your daily stress and boredom.
  2. Make conscious efforts to interact with people in person rather than via your phone. Our bodies and minds are built to thrive and develop off of human interactions, isolation with technology will impact you negatively.
  3. Recognize when you’re using a smartphone as a wall. If you find it easier to communicate with others through messaging or social media or vent online, work on those skills rather than hiding behind technology.

How to Modify Your Smartphone Use

If you’re wondering how to break cell phone addiction, the best way is to think of it as physical addiction such as smoking, drinking or eating. It’s about recognizing habits and working on slowly reducing the time to manageable amounts.

  • Limit times that you can use your device. Try checking your phone after meals, don’t take it with you to the bathroom and ban it from the bedroom.
  • Turn off your phone or put it out of sight. Placing your phone in a drawer at work or leaving it in another room on charge can help reduce the anxiety of wanting to check it.
  • Don’t let your phone interrupt your sleeping patterns. Looking at your tablet, phone or laptop before bed can impact the quality of sleep you get. Try turning it off.
  • Focus your boredom on other activities. If you’re just sat there with TV on in the background and scrolling aimlessly on your phone, try putting that time into the gym, a hobby or going to meet friends and catchup.
  • Limit times you play games or look on social media. Perhaps only use a game at certain times of the day, or try deleting social media apps you’re spending too much time on (social media being one of the primary causes of phone addiction)
  • Checking your phone every 5 minutes? Wait for an hour or more, you’re probably getting an underlying feeling you’re missing out but you can wait for your fix.



Both Apple and Google (Android) have implemented plans to help combat phone addiction via software on their devices. Even though recent poll data suggests that almost 90% of people take responsibility for their own addictions, the software companies still have taken action.

In this section we explore:

  • The impact of Apple’s iOS update
  • The global market split
Digital Health Impact

Apple's iOS Digital Health Update

These statistics show Apple’s market share over that past few years split down by quarter, suggesting this highly anticipated update will be available on around 15% of all smartphones shipped.

The keynote at WWDC will no doubt raise awareness of the tools people can now use to realize how they interact with devices and apps on a day to day basis.

  • In 2017 over 1,537M smartphones were sold, 14.0% of which run on iOS
  • 85% run on Android, in May 2018 at the Google I/O they introduced a series of management tools that help manage similar functions to track usage

Report Sources – our survey 2,186 respondents (USA/UK)

What Are Your Thoughts?

Let us know how you interact with your phone, or any tips you have in cutting down usage below…

The complete guide to smartphone addiction, including current survey data on addiction, daily usage addiction among children and teenagers.  #screentime #applescreentime #cellphones #phonefacts #phoneaddiction #smartphoneaddiction

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.